Sukadeva Goswami is describing this Rasa Pancadhyayi to Pariksit Maharaja, but he did not describe this only for Pariksit Maharaja. Then who was He speaking it for? Was it to please Krsna or Srimati Radhika? Was it to please Pariksit Maharaja, or others in the audience? Why are we hearing it, and who is it really for?
SUKADEVA GOSWAMI’S WORLDLY DETACHMENT AND RENUNCIATION
Sukadeva Goswami is not trying to please anyone in this world, nor is he trying to please anyone in his audience, wondering if they will be happy and pleased with him or not. It has been explained that, Badrinarayan or Vyasadeva stays in the Badrinath asrama, in the Himalayan region and that Sukadeva Goswami had appeared there. Sukadeva Goswami however, didn’t stay there after his birth, trying to please his father and mother, he immediately left.
Sukadeva Goswami is completely detached from this world and he didn’t come to this world to please anyone. We are not like that however. We take birth and immediately we try to please our family and relatives, and if we don’t make them happy then we think, “Oh! I am an ungrateful and horrible person.” We have been conditioned to believe that we will be successful in this world only by pleasing others i.e. our relatives, friends, families, and society. Sukadeva Goswami however, was not like this.
From birth he was completely detached from the world. What is the meaning of this detachment? It means attachment to God. If we are attached to God, then naturally we will be detached from the people of this world. If we want to do bhagavad-bhajan, then we can not share even one particle of our love in this world with others. If we give even a drop of our love to anyone in this world, and do not offer it completely to God, then we are not pure. How can we be protected? What is real purity?
We should pray everyday:
apavitrah pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato api vā
By always remembering God and having love for Him, that makes us pure. Our purity is lost when we distribute ourselves to the many people of this world. Even if it is just for a moment, a few minutes, or an hour, we waste our time trying to please materialistic people. For that time period we become impure and contaminated and bhagavad-rasa cannot come into our hearts and minds. Then we are just waiting for the blessings and mercy of those to whom we are doing everything for, and trying to please and satisfy. We end up begging from them, and then their moods, and their rasa, come into our hearts. If that person is tamasik, by following them we become tamasik. If they are rajasik, or people in the mode of passion, then we will also become influenced by rajo guna – passion. Thereby, we become impure and contaminated.
SUKADEVA GOSWAMI STAYS IN THE WOMB FOR 16 YEARS
Srila Sukadeva Goswami did not have impurities like this, even from his birth. Immediately he renounced this world because of his complete attachment and absorption in God. He stayed in his mother’s womb for 16 years and would not come out. At the time, Vyasadeva, with great intensity, began praying, “Please come out! Please come out! You should not give any further pain and suffering to your mother!” However, Sukadeva Goswami would not listen. Finally, Vyasadeva prayed to Bhagavan Sri Krsna, and by the request of Bhagavan, Sukadeva Goswami came out.
When Krsna asked Sukadeva Goswami to come out he replied, “If I come out, maya will be on all sides surrounding me, therefore I do not want to come out. What is that maya? The father will say, ‘You are mine. You are my son.’ The mother will say, ‘You are my dear son.’ This is mohini-maya. It will come on all four sides and capture you, then you will have aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws, all of them wanting you to follow their desires and satisfy them. In this way, they are binding us with their moha, illusory attachment. They take us in their laps, give us affection, and want us to think that we are their property. In this way they bind us with moha, illusion.
Sukadeva Goswami said, “I will not come out into the world. I will not become trapped in this net and web of ‘moha’ illusion. If you take aside this maya, then I will come, otherwise not.”
Children suffer so much in their mothers’ wombs. They cannot move their arms or legs and are always in a fetal position, being bitten by bacteria and worms. When the mother takes something harsh to eat, then the child suffers and feels a burning sensation. They are very constricted, bound and connected by an umbilical cord. But Sukadeva Goswami was happy to stay in the womb. He said, “I will stay here my whole life, no problem.” He was in the womb for 16 years and he said he was happy there. Why? He said, “Because if I come outside then everyone will try to capture me and make me their property.”
Nowadays women have difficulty maintaining their babies in their wombs for the full pregnancy. They do not like this, and feel so much pain and discomfort from being pregnant. We see in previous times women would keep their children in their wombs for up to 10 months before giving birth to them. The children would then become very strong and healthy. But nowadays, we see people want short pregnancies.
Krsna said to Srila Sukadeva Goswami, “I will remove My maya for the time a seed can stay on the edge of a blade.” Then as soon as Sukadeva Goswami came out of the womb he fled.
We see sadhus have attachment to topics of hari-katha and Bhagavan, but other people are absorbed day and night in gossip and criticizing each other. All day and night they pour this poison into each other’s ears.
There is no need to go to the hospital or to take medicine if there is no poison going into the ears. When that poison begins to pour into our ears by so called ‘guru-jana’ (elders), family, friends and relatives, then naturally we become sick. Because of this we have to suffer and struggle so much. We become depressed and many illnesses arise from this mental disturbance, and we end up having to take so much medicine. Why is this? Because we have made those who are not our real friends and well-wishers of our soul into relatives and friends. We accept them as our own and then they rope us in. But this is not the nature of sadhus. Narada Rsi was very happy to leave his mother, as soon as she passed away he left.
PRAHLADA MAHARAJA HEARS HARI-KATHA IN HIS MOTHER’S WOMB
For 60,000 years Prahlada Maharaja was hearing hari-katha in the womb of his mother, Kayadu. This whole time he had been absorbed in hari-katha, and when he finally came out, his father started teaching him what? Sanda and Amarka, the so-called gurus and teachers were only teaching him how to enjoy and exploit others. Prahlada had his mother and father on one side, and all his teachers and demons on the other side, and all were trying to pull him into material sense enjoyment and samsara (cycle of birth and death).
Prahlada said, “What I have learned for 60,000 years I cannot forget even for a moment. Therefore, why will I follow your instructions?” Then what happened? His father immediately became against him, and tried to kill him in so many different ways. Still no-one could harm Prahlada, and no-one could shake his conviction. Because those who drink this bhagavat-rasa and katha, become mauni, peaceful, and completely happy. Those who are always taking the poison of jada-rasa, and putting it into their ears and bodies day and night, will always be suffering and restless. They will take so many medicines, and at night time they won’t be able to sleep. In the day time they will always be disturbed, running around like madmen. So Sukadeva Goswami said, “I will not come out into this world of moha (illusion). I will never come out.”
SUKADEVA GOSWAMI TAKES BIRTH AND RUNS INTO THE JUNGLE
At this time Krsna was staying in Dwaraka, so Sukadeva Goswami’s father Vyasadeva prayed to Krsna there. He said, “My Lord, I have one son who has now come. Before I had some other sons, but they were not proper. Dhrtarastra was blind, Pandu was weak and pale, then I had Vidura. But now one great personality has come into the womb of my wife but he will not come out. Therefore, please come and request him to come out of the womb.”
Sukadeva Goswami gave a condition, “Oh Bhagavan if you will remove your maya then I will come out, otherwise I will not come out.” So, what did Krsna do? Krsna said, “I will put a mustard seed on the tip of a cow’s horn. For the time it takes for it to fall off I will remove maya for that long, and then you can come out.” Sukadeva Goswami replied to Krsna, “That is enough.”
Everyone in this world is bound by maya. From morning to evening everyone is moving around in the jail of maya as her slaves. Otherwise why is everyone working so hard? Why are they struggling so hard? Only because of this mohini-maya.
How long does it take for a mustard seed to drop from the tip of a cow’s horn? Only a couple of seconds. But in that fraction of time, Sukadeva Goswami immediately came out of the womb, as a young 16 year-old youth, and immediately ran away.
Vyasadeva chased after him calling out, “Oh my son, oh my son, oh son!” But Sukadeva Goswami did not listen to anything. He immediately ran into the forest, and hid in the jungle. Only an echo was coming back from the trees, “Oh, who is the son, who is the father?” Sukadeva Goswami didn’t look back and, running very fast, disappeared among the trees. Vyasadeva was left running behind calling out, “Where is my son? Where is my son?”
The only response was, “Who is son? Who is father?” Bhagavan, is the father, mother, and creator of everyone. The jivas are the vibhinamsa-tattva of Bhagavan. So how can you say this person is your son? That is only arrogance and moha, bewilderment. Even though you wrote all Veda, Vedanta, and Sastra, still you have this moha.” In this way the echo gave an answer to Vyasadeva. “Even though writing all scriptures you still have this moha, thinking he is your son.”
Vyasadeva returned to his ashram, but even after all this, Vyasadeva still had some idea in his mind of how to bring him back. Vyasadeva made some plan after meditating. Everyone cannot be captured by the same method, but if you give someone bhagavat-rasa, then you can bind them. He knew that when hunters go into the forest, they play a flute to capture the deer. By the beautiful sound of the flute the deer would come, lean on a stick which would fall over, and cause them to be caught. All because of this beautiful flute sound.
Vyasadeva then called two hunters and told them he wanted to teach them some very beautiful slokas, and that they should go and sing them in the forest. In this way Sukadeva Goswami would be attracted and become captured by this, just as deer are captured by beautiful sounds.
“Go and play a beautiful flute and sing these mantras, and when he comes to you, bring him to me.”
To catch animals, you have to struggle so much, setting nets, traps and herding them in the direction you want, but if you know a proper mantra then the method becomes very easy. Vyasadeva said, “Go and sing these mantras, sing these slokas.” When they began to do this so many animals came close to hear the beautiful sounds, of music and singing. Just see the power of this Srimad Bhagavatam accompanied by beautiful singing.
Then a beautiful youth appeared, Srila Sukadeva Goswami. He had a bluish form like Syamasundara. When he came the hunters forgot about all the other animals. Vyasadeva had said, if you do this singing then you will also attract so many animals and you will be able to capture them. They had sung this, and so many animals had come, but seeing Sukadeva Goswami, they forgot their bad nature as hunters, and became completely enamored by the beauty of Srila Sukadeva Goswami and his transcendental effulgence.
SUKADEVA GOSWAMI ENAMORED BY CHANTING OF SLOKAS
Sukadeva Goswami said, “What are these slokas? How beautiful they are! Who has taught you these? Who is that person, who in this world sings the qualities, pastimes and beauty of the transcendental forms of Bhagavan? Who glorifies His pastimes? Who is that person, that although he is in this world is always speaking the glories of God? People in this world only speak of maya and their own glories, giving announcements and sending out agents to attract people towards themselves. I have not found such a person that only wants to speak the real glories of God.”
The hunter replied, “Oh, there is one old Baba who is very wise, and he told us that when we are in the jungle hunting, we should sing these verses, and by doing it, we’ll easily be able to capture so many animals. He explained, that all the animals would come to us if we sing these prayers, and however many animals we wanted, we could take.” The hunters said, “Oh he has so many students. Many people come to him and he has a very nice ashram. You should come and see.” Sukadeva Goswami asked, “Can I come with you?” The hunters said, “Yes we will show you.”
Sukadeva Goswami then followed behind the two hunters. Simply by seeing him the hunters forgot their material thirst, hunger, and violent nature. Pure personalities like Srila Sukadeva Goswami, are quite rare in this world, and by their darshan one can become ‘nirguna’ (transcendental).
VYASADEVA MEETS SUKADEVA GOSWAMI
Vyasadeva was in his ashram with his disciples like Jaimini, Vaisampayan, and Sumanta, when Sukadeva Goswami arrived. They all came forward to welcome Sukadeva Goswami, but they couldn’t understand what they were seeing. They thought, “Is this the sun rising? Is the moon rising, or is the full moon and sun rising at once?”
Sukadeva Goswami was so effulgent and beautiful it was like all the transcendental personalities were appearing directly in front of their vision. Why? Because Sukadeva Goswami is one hundred percent absorbed in relishing the nectar of pure loving service to Krsna. He is also Radharani’s very beloved parrot Suka. When Krsna and Srimati Radhika entered Their eternal pastimes, They left Sukadeva behind. Suka was left wandering throughout the whole world searching for anyone who was speaking hari-,katha, the glories of Bhagavan. By the effect of Kali Yuga what happens? It is said:
krsna svadamapagate kalau nasta dvaye, puranarko udanayo…
Srimad Bhagavatam is the only saving light in Kali yuga. When Kali yuga starts then jnana, karma, dhyana, yoga, tapasya, and so many other good qualities, leave this world with Krsna, and the world becomes filled with darkness. At that time Bhagavan was thinking, “How can I help the jivas in Kali yuga? What can I do to help them?” We should all think of how to help them and protect them from the effects of Kali yuga.
SUKA THE PARROT HEARS SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM
At that time Sukadeva Goswami was Suka, Radharani’s parrot, he was wandering everywhere looking for anyone who was purely giving hari-katha. Finally, he came across Siva Thakur in Kailash, who was speaking the glories of Bhagavan. Siva Thakura was completely immersed in the katha, and many different animals were also there to hear. Suka then sat in a nearby mango tree and was listening intently to Siva Thakur’s hari-katha. Parvati Devi was also sitting by Siva Thakur and listening to the hari-katha of the Srimad Bhagavatam.
Siva Thakur is a ‘param-vaisnava’, pure devotee, the greatest of all Vaisnavas, and he is always thinking about everyone’s auspiciousness. Without Siva Thakur no one can have auspiciousness. No one thinks about the auspiciousness of everyone, only Siva is like this. Other people want to control and exploit others, they want to be in a high position themselves and have everyone else as their slave and servant. But Siva Thakur is renounced. Even though he puts ash from crematoriums on his body and wanders naked, he is always thinking of the benefit of the jivas and their welfare.
Siva was speaking the Srimad Bhagavatam that he had attained in samadhi and Parvati was listening, but when the Srimad Bhagavatam begins people begin to fall asleep. This is a great problem. This world is controlled by the three ‘gunas’ and when we get something of this world from the these gunas we take it very happily. But if we are presented with something which is nirguna (transcendental), what to speak of having a taste for it, it is like we enter ‘maha-pralaya’, deep sleep. We have no taste for Bhagavan’s nama and kirtan. It is not such an easy thing to enter.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja once said, “There are people who haven’t been able to sleep properly for years, even after taking medicine to induce sleep. Once a man came to me and asked for help. I said, ‘Sit in hari-katha,’ and as soon as I began bhagavat-katha, within a few moments he fell asleep. Afterwards he came to me and said, ‘Oh you are like my God, I have taken your shelter.’ I said why? He replied, ‘Finally I have been able to sleep nicely. Please accept me as your disciple.” It is not so easy for everyone to enter into this bhagavat-katha rasa. When we start hearing hari-katha we start to enter maha-pralaya, deep, deep sleep.
Sati fell asleep and Suka the parrot, hearing this katha from Siva Thakur, became completely absorbed in bliss. He copied the voice of Sati, and when Siva Thakur asked, “Oh did you hear that? Do you understand that? Did you like that?” Suka would reply, “Ha, Ha, Ha, yes, yes, yes.”
In this way Siva Thakur was happily giving hari-katha completely absorbed with his eyes closed. He went through all of Vraja-lila. In a very beautiful way, he was explaining all the pastimes of Krsna. At that time Suka became so happy, he felt, “My life is now successful!” He thought, “When I was in Vraja, staying with Srimati Radhika, I was receiving so much affection from Her. She would give me pomegranate seeds with milk and rice, and She would speak so much beautiful katha.”
It is very rare and hard to find someone in this world who is giving this hari-katha. Many people are there to give us pain, but who is there to give us spiritual happiness? In this world maya katha is going on everywhere, and it is very rare to find someone that will give us this spiritual happiness. Nowadays there are so many different people, so many movies, and TV channels, all distributing only ‘maya katha’. People are so anxious to go and hear this. It has now become their food. This poison is their food. Suka became so happy to hear this hari-katha, because Bhagavat katha is so rare in this world.
When the hari-katha was finished, Sati woke up and said, “What happened? What happened?”
Siva Thakur asked, “Oh you didn’t hear the hari-katha?”
Sati replied, “Oh I fell asleep, what did you say?”
Siva Thakur then asked, “So who was listening? Who was answering in your voice, saying yes, yes?”
Siva Thakur then began to search around for the person who was saying ‘yes, yes’, but he could not find anyone.
Siva Thakur had meditated, and then this bhagavat-katha had entered his heart after which he spoke it. He began wondering, “If Parvati didn’t hear it, then who was replying in your voice? Who heard this ‘amrta’, nectar?”
There are many different types of hari-katha that Siva Thakur would speak, but this was one of the first times he had spoken this bhagavat-katha. He said, “If anyone will hear this hari-katha then they can distribute it and help everyone. Everyone will accept them, worship them and they will become like the mother of everyone in this world. But you didn’t hear this hari-katha?”
Sati replied, “No, I fell asleep.”
Siva Thakur said, “Ok, then you lost this chance.”
SIVA THAKUR CHASES SUKA WITH HIS TRIDENT
Then searching everywhere Siva Thakur finally found a parrot sitting in a mango tree. He was very happy from drinking this nectar which is the ornament of our life. On finding him Siva Thakur became angry and said, “Oh you stole everything from me! You heard this hari-katha. Now look!”
Siva Thakur then took his trisula (trident) and began to run after the parrot as if to kill him. Suka flew away in fear, and Siva Thakur followed him. Wherever Suka would fly Siva Thakur would follow him with his trisula (trident) ready to kill him.
SUKA ENTERS VITIKA’S WOMB
Then finally Sukadeva Goswami flew towards the ashram of Vyasadeva and entered. At that time, Vyasadeva was also speaking hari-katha from the Puranas. Vitika, Vyasadeva’s wife, was also a little tired and she yawned, and when she yawned Suka flew directly into her mouth and went into her womb.
Siva Thakur arrived there shortly afterwards and asked, “I saw a parrot fly in here, did you see a parrot enter your ashram?”
Vyasadeva replied, “Oh Siva Thakur, why are you looking for him? Oh Lord, why are you so angry? Normally you are very peaceful. What has happened?”
Siva Thakur replied, “The Srimad Bhagavatam had appeared in my heart by samadhi, and I was speaking it to Parvati. There was a parrot sitting in a nearby mango tree. Parvati fell asleep, and the parrot was cheating by using her voice to respond to everything, and in this way, he heard the entire Bhagavatam thereby stealing everything from me.”
Vyasadeva asked, “What will happen by hearing this Srimad Bhagavatam?
Siva Thakur replied, “He will become immortal.”
Vyasadeva said, “If he has become immortal by hearing it, then how can you kill him? If anyone hears this bhagavat-katha, then death will not be able to touch them. They will not again enter this cycle of birth and death, samsara. This parrot has transcended the three gunas of maya.” When Vyasadeva said this, Siva Thakur smiled, offered his respects and departed.
The Srimad Bhagavatam first came through Siva Thakur, and he is always considering the auspiciousness and welfare of all beings. Who Bhagavan wants to give something to, may be different than who we want to give it to. So Vyasadeva could now understand that by God’s desire, a great personality had entered his wife’s womb.
Sukadeva Goswami came out only after he received the blessing from Sri Krsna that maya would be removed for as long as it took him to come out of the womb. He then ran into the forest, and was later attracted back by the hunters singing sloka’s of bhagavat-katha.
VYASADEVA FEELING DISTURBED AT HEART AFTER COMPILING THE VEDAS
When Sukadeva Goswami returned, Vyasadeva began to speak the Srimad Bhagavatam again. We know from the Srimad Bhagavatam that Srila Vyasadeva had previously manifested all the Vedas, Upanisads and Puranas, but was not happy, feeling unease and disturbance in his heart. At that time Sri Narada Rsi, his Guru, appeared and asked, “Oh I see you are disturbed. What is the matter?”
Srila Vyasadeva replied, “You know everything.”
Narada Rsi said, “Please tell me anyway.”
Vyasadeva said, “I have manifested all the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanisads and Sastra, but still I do not feel happy.”
Narada Rsi asked, “Have you done kirtan and hari-katha of Sri Krsna’s glories and pastimes? How can you be happy without doing that? You have only misled the jivas without giving the ultimate objective. You have not established pancam purusata, Krsna prema? Divine love for Krsna in the transcendental world is the highest goal.”
Vyasadeva had manifested the tamasik, rajasik and satvik Puranas. Sometimes he had said that Ganesh is God, sometimes he said Durga is God, sometimes Siva Thakura, or Surya or Visnu. On whatever subject he spoke on, he would glorify that personality to the utmost extent, making them all like Isvara (supreme God).
Narada Rsi said, “You have not described the ultimate goal, and the ultimate reality of the Absolute Truth Sri Krsna. That Krsna is the Supreme Controller, and everyone else is coming from Him. He is the ‘Avatari’, the root of all Avatars. All the Devis and Devas, the demigods and demigoddesses are all the servants of Him, you have not spoken in a nirapeksa way, in an unbiased manner. You have glorified everyone as if equal, when in fact they are not so. When you glorify Krsna’s pastimes directly and glorify Krsna as the Supreme Personality without any confusion, then you will feel happy and satisfied.”
Vyasadeva then meditated and chanted the omkara, the pranava mantra, and did sadhana. Krsna then directly appeared in his heart along with all His pastimes and associates, and the same catur sloki Bhagavatam given to Lord Brahma, appeared in his heart.
What is the introductory sloka of catur-sloki Bhagavatam? Jnanam me parama-guhyam. He said I am giving you knowledge or jnana, but how can you realize this and make it vijnana? I will tell you. It is a very confidential secret, but you must take a vow that you will do a certain kind of spiritual practice to understand it and be able to enter within it. What are Krsna’s pastimes? What are the secrets of Krsna and His activities? I will give all of this to you, but you must perform the proper sadhana in order to receive it. And you will have to have the greed to taste it. Our endeavor is our sadhana. We have to have the proper eagerness, faith and then endeavor.
Svayam Bhagavan is Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, Nanda-Nandan who is Vrajesa the Son of the King of Vraja. At that time, Vyasadeva meditated on all these pastimes, and they all appeared in his heart. He thought, “How can I distribute these beautiful pastimes and the glories of Sri Krsna?”
Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! Guruvarga ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org )